A Walt Disney Company Cast Member’s successful environmental initiative has led her to enroll in Wilmington University’s Environmental Science and Policy program through Disney Aspire, the tuition-free program for employees.
Kristee Post was working as a Fairy Godmother-in-Training at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Walt Disney World Resort when she suggested a change to the cosmetic glitter used at the boutique as part of guests’ royal transformations. Post, who says she has always been interested in protecting the environment, learned through a Facebook video about a year ago that the glitter might contain microplastics that can adversely affect fish and humans.
After discussing her findings with fellow Cast Members at Magic Kingdom Park®, she decided to write a paper suggesting that Disney attempt to find a sustainable glitter alternative. She says she shared the paper with her leaders, co-workers, and eventually Disney’s environmental team, who were eager to help find a more environmentally-friendly alternative.
The teams spent months on research, finally finding a glitter that was both sustainable and able to meet its rigorous safety and show-quality standards.
The solution, a plant-based bio-degradable glitter that’s indistinguishable from the original, has been introduced at boutiques in Disney parks.
Post says she learned her suggestion had been adopted when members of the Environmental Integration team came to her workplace for a surprise celebration, presenting her with an “Environmental Hero” certificate.
“I was very honored,” she says, “but more importantly, it made me decide to pursue a degree [in Environmental Science].” Working through Disney Aspire, she enrolled in WilmU’s online courses last winter. She is taking about three classes per semester and expects to receive her degree in four years.
“All the teachers are great,” she says, “and I really like working with the student advisors.”
The feeling is mutual at WilmU. “Kristee is a bright, hard-working and enthusiastic Environmental Science and Policy student,” says Nora Hufe, Science Laboratory supervisor and adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. “She has already made an amazing difference at Disney, and I can’t wait to see her next environmental encore.”
A native of Rhode Island, Post has worked for Disney since 2010. She’s grateful for the Disney Aspire program.
“I knew Disney Aspire could help me earn a degree so I can continue making positive impacts in the world,” says Post.
The Disney Aspire program is supported through Guild Education, the leading education benefits platform.